Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Colleges

UCF kicker should make a YouTube video about his free education

When compiling a list of America's most thankless jobs, teachers, police officers, IRS agents and MLS referees are four occupations that immediately come to mind.

And after what we saw transpire this week at Central Florida, you can certainly add college football administrator to the inventory.

We destroy college football administrators when they break the rules.

And, yes, we destroy them when they abide by them, too.

UCF has been getting barbecued nationally for informing Knights kicker Donald De La Haye that his popular and profitable YouTube channel may put his NCAA eligibility at risk. Recent headline at ESPN.com: UCF tells kicker he can't profit from YouTube.

Actually, UCF didn't tell De La Haye that. What UCF told De La Haye is that if he wants to keep profiting from YouTube, then he may be ineligible to play college football. After all, NCAA rules clearly state that an athlete "may establish his or her own business, provided the student-athlete's name, photograph, appearance or athletics reputation are not used to promote the business."

While De La Haye's videos are funny and entertaining, he certainly uses his name, photograph, appearance and athletics reputation as a UCF football player to promote the videos. For instance, his recent video — a hilarious portrayal of how quarterbacks are prima donnas in everyday life — was taped inside the UCF sports facilities and has received nearly 250,000 views.

In another video about his NCAA eligibility issues titled "Quit College Sports or Quit YouTube," De La Haye says, "I feel like they're making me pick between my passion in what I love to do — make videos and entertain, be creative — and my other passion, which is playing football."

De La Haye, a marketing major, is a bright and talented kid, but he is almost certainly breaking NCAA rules. Personally, I would love to see him make more of these slice-of-college-life videos, but the rules are the rules. And UCF shouldn't be portrayed as the bad guy for trying to follow them.

Many of us might disagree with the rule that prohibits athletes from profiting off their names and likenesses, but don't ever forget why the rule is in place: Because college football programs cheat like NASCAR crew chiefs. If you allow UCF's kicker to make money off his funny videos, how many well-heeled Alabama and Ohio State boosters are lining up to pay their recruits and star players $10,000 a pop for a selfie?

Of course, the popular and predictable stance is to rip UCF and the NCAA for exploiting De La Haye. You know the tired old storyline: "Why can the big bad school profit off the player's name, but the poor little player can't?"

First of all, nobody is profiting off De La Haye's name right now except De La Haye. He's a kicker who most UCF fans couldn't even have named until this issue came up. Nobody buys tickets to see him play or lines up at the merchandise tent to buy his jersey.

And just to be clear, UCF isn't some Power Five football factory making millions and millions of dollars on the backs of its athletes. The fact is, UCF's football program is a money loser and the only the reason the Knights can fund the program at a competitive level is because of an exorbitant student athletic fee, which is essentially a "football tax" that all of UCF's 60,000-plus students must pay for every semester hour they take.

So please spare me the rhetoric about how UCF and the NCAA are taking advantage of De La Haye, who is being fed, housed and educated to kick a football. He will likely be like 99.9 percent of college athletes who never make it to the pros. Many of these athletes don't have the financial wherewithal to get into college but are admitted because of their athletic skill. Without college football, they never would have a chance to get an education.

As someone who is currently putting two daughters through college, don't you dare try to minimize the price of a full-ride college scholarship. Anybody out there who doesn't believe a college degree is fair compensation for chasing a bouncing ball, I suggest you try getting a job in today's competitive workplace without one.

Ask Blake Bortles how much money he made at UCF — a school that offered him a scholarship as a quarterback when nobody else would. Bortles was instructed by UCF's coaching staff, nourished by UCF's dining halls and strengthened by UCF's weight room. He went on to become the third player picked in the NFL draft and is now a multi-millionaire starting quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Why doesn't somebody make a YouTube video about that?

Comments
ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

Former Florida Gators receiver Antonio Callaway's off-field struggles continue.ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday evening that Callaway tested positive for marijuana at the NFL's scouting combine.Former Florida WR Antonio Callaway -- who some cons...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Florida Gators defensive lineman Cece Jefferson will be out four months after having surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week, according to a report Wednesday evening from the Gainesville Sun.Jefferson, a 6-foot-1, 242-pound senior, injured th...
Published: 04/18/18
Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Tuesday evening's news that quarterback Jake Allen plans to transfer from the Florida Gators isn't a surprise.Allen, a former three-star recruit in 2017, was fourth on the depth chart. The St. Thomas Aquinas product didn't seem to fit new coach ...
Published: 04/18/18
Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

When former Wharton High star Auden Tate hears his name called sometime next week, he'll join a surprisingly small group.Recent Florida State receivers drafted into the NFL.Over the past decade, only two Seminoles receivers have been drafted: Rashad ...
Published: 04/18/18
Police suspected FSU’s Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Police suspected FSU’s Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Tallahassee police suspected Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois possessed marijuana with the intent to sell it when they executed a search warrant on his home last week, according to an affidavit.The case — which culminated Thursda...
Published: 04/17/18
Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Even as Florida State was finishing its first recruiting class under Willie Taggart, the Seminoles were already talking about what they could do in the new staff's first full cycle, for 2019."I can only imagine having a year here to be able to recrui...
Published: 04/17/18
Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

TALLAHASSEE – Florida State running back Khalan Laborn's breakout 140-yard output in Saturday night's spring game was a sign of what could be for the former blue-chip recruit.It was also a reminder of what almost wasn't for the Seminoles.With a...
Published: 04/16/18
New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

Steve Spurrier will make one of his first appearances in his new role with the Alliance of American Football tomorrow in Orlando.The league will welcome Spurrier as the coach of its Orlando team at an event at Ember (42 W Central Blvd.) at an event f...
Published: 04/16/18
Five takeaways from Florida State’s spring football game

Five takeaways from Florida State’s spring football game

TALLAHASSEE – Judging by the crowd for Florida State's spring game on Saturday, Seminoles fans are excited about the dawn of the Willie Taggart era.The official attendance of 53,974 — a new record for a spring game — inclu...
Published: 04/14/18
Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ spring game

Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ spring game

GAINESVILLE —It took some time, but the offense scored points in bunches, much to the delight of the 53,015 in attendance at Florida's spring game.And the Gators had fun doing it, pulling out all the stops with gadgets and celebrations that bro...
Published: 04/14/18